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When you join CIPS you also get access to monthly Supply Management magazine, which in itself really helps you have a bigger picture of the goings on of procurement around the world. I love fashion and beauty, what can I say I’m a girl! The magazine did a feature on the beauty and cosmetics industry – mostly of international brands such as L’oreal and their supply chain.

Breaking down to per product quite a lot of raw material is required by these companies that I simply never thought about. In as much as the beauty industry brings in millions of $ across the world, where does their supply chain begin? On a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Burkina Faso – I had to grab a map. That’s where the Shea butter in its raw nature comes from and that’s just for one product – L’oreal has numerous lines of products and with going green many want to use natural products on their skin. Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics, as a moisturizer, salve or lotion – a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. shea

To imagine the movement of picking from farm level – from the time its in the farmers hands to the time it reaches the shelves globally in a fantastic branded package is mind blowing to me. Management of such a supply chain cannot be easy.

How many processes must they go through – logistics, chemical testing, product testing, product placement, product reviews, packaging, branding, point of sale stands – the list seems endless!

Where does your supply chain start and end? is it as complicated?